Best VR Headsets: 2019’s Definitive & Complete Buyer’s Guide

Virtual Reality (VR) is no more a passing fad or a time-pass activity. It has become as mandatory a part of everyday gaming and viewing as is having a smartphone. VR headsets have become exceedingly popular primarily because these totally transform your gaming experience by transmitting you to the actual environment.

A majority of the bigwigs in the tech fraternity are competing with each other to bring forth best VR headsets for the users. From Sony and Samsung to Google and Apple all have invested into VR technology and we love it every bit. Because, the demarcation that exists between PCs, smartphones and consoles is diminishing gradually. So this guide on the best VR headsets 2018 will introduce you to the products worth your money right now.

Why Trust Us?

Over a hundred hours I have spent in testing and researching on the most noteworthy VR headsets. Testing involved considering several factors including setup, comfort, design, interface, accessories, content selection and controllers. The controllers, interfaces and head tracking of all the tested devices were checked to understand how easy it would be for a user to start playing.

I checked the amount of space needed for using the VR headset with accessories and software installation duration. Ease-of-use was assessed by wearing each VR headset for at least 30 minutes to check how effective is the face guard and embedded air vents in wicking away moisture. Responsiveness and intuitiveness of the interface including gesture control and voice commands was examined too.

Best VR Headsets I Picked in 2019

It is time to check out the list of best VR headsets of the year 2018. I have carefully chosen every model after examining its usability and reliability. An important aspect I checked while researching on VR headsets is the size of the device library as it is important that users get wide range of apps, games and movies. All the mainstream and newbie brands were tested to identify the key features that define a VR headset. In my opinion this is a pretty decent list that you can trust.

How we Picked?

Unlike other reviewers I tend to be a bit too user-oriented. So, for optimal convenience of my readers, I broke down the best VR headsets guide into a few categories. You can get an idea about the best overall VR headsets and company specific headsets featuring models from prominent manufacturers and gaming consoles.

The Key Players: Choose Your Best VR Headsets, In-depth Reviews

Gear up for the best VR headsets 2018. The list is a comprehensive one as you will find every possible category here. Find industry’s best offerings for PC to Xbox, PS4 to iPhone and Android smartphones. Choose your favourite VR headsets after checking out my in-depth reviews on Google, Sony, Microsoft and Samsung VR headsets.

Part #1 Top 3 Overall: Best VR Headsets 2019

Let’s first start with the overall top performers in the VR headsets industry. The list is totally unbiased and I have picked the products after personally testing and examining each VR headset. My top picks are universally available, reasonably priced and offers amazing level of virtual reality experience, extensive library for content selection and remarkable comfortability.

Quick Tips For This Top Pick

Samsung Gear VR is my top pick for overall best VR headsets simply because it is the most reliable gadget in the industry. Despite the fact that it is compatible with Samsung devices, the sleek and stylish design, competitive rate, compatibility with broad range of Samsung phones and excellent touch controls, it is a must have if you own a Samsung smartphone.

Editors’ Choice: Samsung Gear VR (2016)-Choice of a Smart Generation!

About This Best VR Headset

With amazing compatibility and an attractive price tag of $26.45 this is an excellent gadget to have. This amazing Samsung VR headset supports Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Gear VR’s cushioned lining and black Velcro straps in the rear make it comfortable to wear for hours on end. It’s square control touchpad and independent volume controls further enhance user-friendliness. The left side of the headset features a USB Type-C port while it has a proximity sensor along with two glass eyepieces on the interior.

Powered by Oculus, Gear VR offers truly realistic experience. With Gear VR, you can play games, watch movies, and do everything with your phone in 3D, while your head movement is tracked in the virtual world. Gaming on this VR headset is ideal as you can pick from wide range of games from Minecraft to EVE: Gunjack. Indulge into Gear VR’s exclusive 360-degree experience and turn your smartphone into a wireless VR machine.

Pros: What We Liked

  • Improved lightweight design
  • It has best controllers in the market
  • Growing VR app store
  • Cordless and easy to use
  • Diverse array of content
  • Handy gamepad greatly improves the experience
  • Extremely functional with detailed and crisp visuals
  • Amazing head tracking
  • It is an affordable and very user-friendly gadget

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • Compatible with Samsung devices only
  • Controller is non-rechargeable
  • Space for storing controller is lacking
  • Slightly larger in size

Bottom Line:Samsung Gear VR comes with a proximity sensor along with two glass eyepieces on the interior of the headset. The field of view has increased to a full 360 degrees from the original 96 degrees, allowing for larger field of vision. The sensors are smooth with head tracking. You will feel like you have stepped right into the action of your favourite games, including Minecraft and Gun jack..

Top2 “HTC VIVE Pro Virtual Reality Headset” Reviews-Get into the Vibe of VIVE:

About This HTC VIVE VR Headset:

HTC VIVE Pro is a new HMD upgrade from VIVE. It is built exclusively for VR enthusiasts and enterprise users who want the best display and audio. The VIVE comes with a new adjustable crown-like design that distributes much of its front-loaded weight from your face to the rest of your head. The padding around the lenses is thicker and do not leave visible marks on your face after you take the VIVE Pro off. Additionally, the new and improved VIVE lets you adjust the distance of the lenses from your face by pulling out and pushing in the front of the headset.

HTC is going to release a wireless adapter that eliminates this single cord. The Pro comes in a new blue shell and, more importantly, has built-in headphones, an amplifier, and dual mics promising to offer some nice 3D spatial audio. It also comes with a new head strap, which looks almost identical to the Vive Deluxe Audio strap.

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Pros: What We Liked

  • Incomparable experience with detailed images and improved ergonomics
  • 6DoF controllers
  • Room-scale tracking
  • Very comfortable to wear for longer duration
  • Intuitive interface
  • High impedance, built-in headphones with active noise cancellation
  • Enjoy up to 30 games during your 6-month free trial; VIVE Pro HMD does not include controllers, base stations, or VIVE wireless adapter.
  • Solid build

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • The product has Bulky cable
  • Device feels harder on neck and back
  • A bit on the expensive side since full setup is costly and even accessories start from $299
  • Cable stills gets in the way
  • Potential tripping hazards

Bottom Line:The VIVE pro has a head-mounted VR display offering a fully immersive gaming and entertainment experience. You slip it on like a pair of ski goggles and get transported to a new world of virtual reality. The product gives us an amazing refresh rate of 90 Hz. With a higher price tag of $799, VIVE pro definitely lives up to our expectations but substantially limits its consumer base..

PlayStation VR – Doom Bundle

About Doom Bundle VR Headset:

The Doom VFR bundle comes with the play station VR hardware, the PlayStation camera, a full copy of doom VFR on disc and Sony’s official demo disc called demo disc 2.0. At an impressive price of $299.9 the Doom Bundle continues to be one of the best Sony VR headsets offering huge game libraries and competitive features.

The Doom Bundle has 3D audio technology, which means you will be able to pinpoint sounds above, below, and all around you. With its Advance VR display, seamless visuals keep you connected to the virtual world and an expansive 5.7″ OLED 1080p display running at up to 120 frames per second. Sony offers you ultra-sensory experiences with Doom Bundle so you enjoy titles like Skyrim VR, The Inpatient, Gran Turismo Sport, Bravo Team, and Doom VFR.

As with all Sony VR headsets, Doom Bundle is also very balanced, comfortable and completely adjustable. It prevents distraction and lets you explore the realistic VR experience. Doom VFR brings the perfect option for the fast-paced gameplay fans.

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Pros: What We Liked

  • Price is very affordable given that it is a Sony product
  • Very comfortable to wear with user-friendly adjustment options
  • Best HMD for glasses
  • A very bright, clear and vibrant display
  • Stereo sound and 360° view lets you get immersed in the gameplay
  • Perfect option for fast-paced, fight-oriented games
  • Can be used with all PS4 games even those that do not support VR tech

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • Fragile mechanical adjustment makes the product a bit less durable than Samsung VR headsets
  • Bundle SKUs are somewhat confusing for average users to understand
  • Expensive accessories
  • Although you can use it with other non-VR PS4 games but the image will be as flat as it is on a monitor screen

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Brief Summary

Sony’s Doom Bundle VFR transports you directly into the gaming world with its utterly realistic gameplay, sharp visuals and crisp sound. Doom VR is excellent choice to play games that require you to aim at the target. You get a fully functional VR experience that competes well with VIVE and Rift for a fraction of the price. It carefully tracks all your movement and relays them to the game using its advanced 3D audio technology. So I would suggest you buy it and enjoy seamless VR gaming.

Part # 2: Zoom In: Google VR Headset

If there is one company in the tech world that can be blindly trusted in VR headsets domain then it is Google for sure. Google has become the front-liner in every internet-related technology. Apart from being one of the best search engines in the world, Google has emerged as a reliable name in smartphones and VR headsets too.

Top Google VR Headset Lists & Table-Innovative to the Core:

From a $30 Cardboard VR headset to the top-of-the-line Dardream View in under $100, Google VR headsets are definitely ground-breaking and investment worthy. You can easily satisfy your VR requirements with technically advanced and affordable Google VR headset. I believe that if there is some company that is constantly innovating in VR headsets industry then it is Google.

The concept of taking a rather cheap material like cardboard and turn it into a wholesome VR enabled gadget is simply ingenious. Google VR headsets are setting a high benchmark form others to follow and every time the company surpasses its own set benchmarks by a huge margin. In short, we cannot ignore Google’s domineering status in VR headsets category. Here is a list of top Google VR headsets followed by my choice in best Google VR headset.

OEM DaydreaGoogle m View – VR Headset-A Budget Pick

About This Best VR Headset

Google VR headsets are known for being inexpensive yet high on specifications. The same can be said about Google OEM Daydream View. It is a bit similar to the highly popular Google Cardboard since both VR headsets use the same stereoscopic 3D generated technology requiring use of glass lenses and smartphone app. However, Daydream View is perfect for those who look for a more flexible smartphone VR headset.

The exterior of the headset is created from durable, high-quality fabric in gray and red color while the inner side is fully padded. These aspects enhance the comfort level for the wearer especially when used for longer sessions.

Daydream View has a compact but all-inclusive remote controller as it contains a touchpad, contextual App button, Home and Volume buttons and the most important of all, the Motion Detection button. In terms of compatibility, this VR headset is somewhat restricted than the Cardboard.

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Pros: What We Liked

  • Very affordable set that has the reliability of Google brand name associated with it
  • Minimalist and straightforward, no-fuss design
  • Excellent quality of fabric makes it very comfortable to wear
  • Durability and portability are its key features

 

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • It needs a smartphone with a 1080p OLED screen display and refresh rate of 60Hz. So it has high hardware requirements
  • It is only compatible with Android 7.0 Nougat and later versions so the product offers limited compatibility
  • Limited app choices compared to Samsung and Sony VR headsets

Bottom Line: Google VR headsets are the best go-to devices for VR enthusiasts with limited budget. It not only provides better picture quality by completely sealing lights but it is also very comfortable to wear for long duration. The only downside that I feel makes this amazing gadget a bit off-putting is that it requires a high-end phone that runs on Android 7.0 and has an OLED display.

Brief Summary :

In my opinion Google VR headsets have proven to be game-changer devices in VR technology. The company is focused upon introducing high quality products in very affordable rates. But, despite that Daydream View is its best VR offering till date, the headset lacks the necessary extensiveness in compatibility that modern day gamers long for the most.

Part #3: Zoom In: iPhone VR Headset

If you need to enjoy the totally immersive gaming experience offered by virtual reality without spending huge sums of money on the set-up and equipment then having smartphone VR headsets is perfect option. All you need to do is find a VR headset that is compatible with your phone. If you are looking for best iPhone VR headset then you can check out my guide on the best VR headsets for iPhone in this section.

Top iPhone VR Headset Lists & Table:Compatibility Matters Most

For owners of Samsung and Google phones, it is a simple process as the companies offer dedicated VR headsets. But not a smooth drive for iPhone users because they need to find out the best iPhone VR headset that works well with their phone. To make your life a little less complicated, I am providing you an overview of available iPhone VR headsets. You can check out all the available VR headsets that will complement your precious iPhone completely and offers truly immersive VR experience. The table below shows you my top picks in ascending order so that you could easily understand which of the product I prefer the most.

Pansonite VR Headset  –A Chance Deal!

About This Best VR Headset

Pansonite VR headset is an amazing deal that no one can ignore. In under $50, you get outstanding VR experience. It is an excellent iPhone VR headset that offers immersive experience via HD VR Goggles. It is designed specifically for VR enabled games and 3D movies.

Pansonite has been kind enough to add the specialized eye care system for iPhone and Android smartphones. It is regarded as the best iPhone VR headset in the market because of its great line-up of features and low cost. You get an expandable head strap to fit the gadget effortlessly while the lens is designed with leather and sponge covering to ensure easy wearing. To set up your iPhone, Pansonite has provided a dedicated suction cup at the front coupled with a touch button for volume adjustment and answering voice calls. Unlike other VR headsets, this one has a deeper nose area to put lease possible pressure.

It is compatible with entire series of iPhones; you can attach it to iPhone 5, 5s, 6, 6s, 7 and 7 Plus. The headset is equipped with a number of accessories including Bluetooth remote control, user guide and cleaning cloth.

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Pros: What We Liked

  • Panoramic scene roaming feature offering 360 degree turnaround
  • Hi-Fi Stereo headphone with 120degree wider viewing angle that is closest to human eyes
  • 720degree surrounded sound
  • Technically advanced VR headset with PMMA HD optical grade aspheric lenses
  • Sturdy body and easy to clean headset
  • Very durable due to its anti-dizziness design
  • True color feature ensure sharper visuals on screen
  • Headset has two cracks to allow heat dissipation
  • Pressure on face gets reduced through comfortable sponge
  • Compatible with Samsung and Windows phones as well

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • The only downside to this VR headset is that it is very heavy and sometimes it becomes difficult to manage

Bottom Line:I can assure you that you will love this iPhone VR headset because it is superb. It offers excellent tracking and makes your experience of the virtual reality truly comfortable and worthwhile. Given the nominal price tag, it is surely a chance deal for not only iPhone but Samsung and Windows phone owners too.

Brief Summary

Finding a truly remarkable iPhone VR headset is not an easy feat at all given the fact that Apple hasn’t yet released its own virtual reality gear to complement iPhones. Hence, you are required to do your research and find a compatible VR headset. My recommended Pansonite VR headset is great for watching 3D movies and playing games.  It is comfortable for your eyes and offers amazing VR experience.

Part #4: Zoom In: Android VR Headset

Virtual Reality has got amazing fan-following. People all over the world are in awe with the very idea of having to view everything in 3D even while gaming. Android smartphone owners are probably the happiest souls on the planet as they have got plenty of options to choose from. Different brands are offering tremendous choices in VR headsets. In this section I will be focusing on best VR headsets designed to complement Android smartphones.

Top Android VR Headset Lists & Table :The More The Merrier

Given that there is such a huge range available in Android VR headsets so, it becomes obviously difficult for average user to find out the perfect headset for personal use. I understand the dilemma of modern day users a bit too well. Therefore, I am presenting you the list of top Android VR headsets of 2018.

The table below provides in-depth breakdown of the key features of my chosen VR headsets in this category along with their prices. I am sure with this table you will be able to make up your mind about the best headset and enjoy seamless, exciting VR experience right from the comforts of your home.

Samsung Gear VR w/Controller:Gear-up for Immersive Android VR

About This Samsung Gear VR Headset:

As far as Android smartphones are concerned, Samsung Gear VR is absolutely the best and it has become even more attractive now with the addition of a motion controller. This revised Gear VR version features a much streamlined, improved design with an added USC-C connector that connects Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus directly. It also comes with a wireless controller that appears similar to HTC VIVE’s controller. Samsung has added elevated touchpad and responsive trigger to the Gear VR, which means whether you place in right or left hand, the controller easily connects to the phone.

This time around, Samsung has made the Gear VR a lot less heavy but comparing to the Daydream View, which is more sleek and small, it is still huge. This model scores high points in keeping the light out while the headset is highly breathable. It features a cozier cushion nearby eyes and nose areas. Motion controller has enhanced the level of interactivity to the Gear VR suite and is the highlight of this new model. It is powered by two AAA batteries and contains a volume rocker, a touchpad and Home button while the trigger at the back is perfect for first-person shooter games. At a price tag of $129 only, the product is a must have.

Pros: What We Liked

  • Existing Gear VR owners can get it at very nominal cost
  • Offers highly immersive mobile VR experience, much better that Google Daydream view
  • Motion tracking responds well to user movements
  • Ergonomic, comfortable design
  • Perfect for long gaming sessions
  • Connecting controller to phone is seamless and flexible

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • It is still restricted to be used with Samsung phones
  • Software library is not as vast as other VR headsets as it is only getting started
  • You cannot fit your smartphone into the headset if it has a cover on due to the tight space provided for inserting phones

Bottom Line:For a totally immersive, seamless, high-resolution and responsive gameplay you have got to switch to the new Samsung VR headset Gear VR with motion controller. It is a great gadget to have as it offers broader device compatibility and it actually offers a full-fledge user interface. Gear VR also offers vast array of apps that even Google don’t feature such as it has Netflix, Ocean Rift and even a web browser.

Brief Summary

Buy this Samsung VR headset only if you have a Samsung phone to use it with as currently the compatibility is a little limited. However, when it comes to supporting Samsung smartphones, it offers amazing support. Its responsive motion sensors coupled with motion controller will definitely allow immersive gaming and viewing experience.

Part #5: Zoom In PS4 VR Headset

PlayStation 4 or PS4 is probably the most admired and sought-after gaming console nowadays. Despite the high price of its games, PS4 fans are eagerly awaiting every new version of their favourite games. Same goes for VR headsets. The demand for PS4 VR headset is constantly increasing and I am not surprised. After all, who wouldn’t want to experience virtual reality on one of the world’s best gaming platforms.

Top PS4 VR Headset Lists & Table: Think Big- Think PlayStation VR

PS4 VR headsets are much in demand simply because of the phenomenal experience of virtual reality that the console offers. And how can we overlook the fact that Sony offers such a huge reserve of exciting games and movies in its library. Obviously, fans would do anything to get a quality PS4 VR headset. But there is no need to hurry because the decision is not an easy one to make. You must remember that there is a big difference between mobile and tethered VR headsets and for PS4 you will require a tethered headset. Why not check out my list of all prominent, affordable and exciting new VR headsets to be used with PS4.

PlayStation VR Headset

Perfect Action Bundle

About This PlayStation VR Headset:

If you aren’t into dark-colored headsets, then Sony VR headset is perfect for you as unlike the VIVE and Rift it is white colored with blue LED lights. The PlayStation VR has a single Full-HD OLED screen and offer high subpixel count of 3, while VIVE and Rift offer 2. Moreover, it has low overall resolution along with dedicated VR processor unit that allows quick adaptation in dynamic VR environment to both audio and video output. With built-in sensors, you get a dual-lens PS Camera that allows precise motion tracking using the futuristic blue LED lights.

PlayStation VR comes with DualShock4 and is compatible with both Aim controller and Sony Motion controllers. Along with beefed-up GPU PlayStation VR is compatible with all the PS4 variants, which is an added plus apart from the reasonable price tag of $270. It is world’s first console-compatible virtual reality headset and remained the best-value headset for a long time. It is because of PlayStation VR that Oculus and HTC had to reduce the prices of their VR headsets to remain competitive.

Pros: What We Liked

  • Reasonable price considering that it is a Sony PS4 device
  • Attractive and comfortable design
  • Offers excellent HMD for glasses
  • Display is quite crisp and vibrant

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • Mechanical adjustments are much fragile
  • Bundle SKU can be confusing at times
  • Accessories and content is quite expensive for PlayStation VR
  • Just like other Sony products, it is also compatible with Sony platforms only
  • The package doesn’t include necessary accessories such as Motion or Aim controllers and Camera

Bottom Line:PlayStation VR from Sony is one of the best VR headsets that have been produced for PS4 gaming console so far. It is quite different PS4 VR headset from other in the market because it is quite cheap to buy and hence, is affordable for a vast range of consumers. Also, it is equipped with variety of features that enhance your VR experience.

Brief Summary

When it comes to PS4, not anything would do since the console is quite demanding in terms of system requirements and firmware necessities. Therefore, in order to get the best results while gaming, I suggest you opt for PlayStation VR since it perfectly complements your PS4 console and allows matchless virtual reality experience.

Part #6: Zoom In: XBOX VR Headset

When you have one of the best gaming consoles in the world, that is, the might Xbox, then how can you choose to compromise on the quality of gameplay? Perhaps no one would want that. This is why there is an increasing demand for truly reliable and compatible Xbox One VR headset.  In this section I will be introducing you to my favourite picks in the said category and will also highlight the top Xbox One VR headset.

Top XBOX VR Headset Lists & Table

Empower your Gameplay

A wide range of VR headsets are available for Xbox gaming console and its variants. However, unless you have all the necessary knowledge about the specifications of different headsets, you cannot choose the perfect one. In the list presented below, you will find information about the top Xbox and Xbox One VR Headsets of the year.

The list as you can see is quite comprehensive; I have personally checked most of these VR headsets and only the ones that met my expectations made it to my list. I believe that with the perfect VR headset your gaming experience can reach a totally new level. This is possible only when you have a reliable, comfortable and compatible headset.  Check out the following options for Xbox VR headsets.

TiYiViRi VR Headset: Control VR with a Turn of Your head

About This TiYiViRi VR Headset:

TiYiViRi VR headset is an excellent choice for pairing up with Xbox and Xbox One. It has a variety of interesting functions while the price is pretty affordable at $300. The HDMI input lets you attach external devices including the PS4, PC too apart from Xbox. You can also choose to download apps from not only Google Play but YouTube as well since it is supportive of different platforms.

This VR headset has high FOV with Imax theatre mode, which ensures better quality of view. The 2560x1440p resolution makes video viewing and amazing experience. TiYiViRi VR headset also supports installation of 64GB TF card, through which you can read or download just about anything. Wi-Fi connectivity feature lets you surf online using the built-in browser.

It comes with a long-lasting 4000mAh Li-Polymer battery and has a power saving mode too, which means when inactive for over 30 seconds the screen will turn itself off. It includes 9-axis Gyroscope for extended sensitivity and is equipped with customized Rockship RK3288 and Quad-Core Cortex- A17 with 1.8 GHz CPU.

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Pros: What We Liked

  • Very affordable from average user’s perspective
  • Fully compatible with a variety of gaming consoles not just Xbox, which is an additional benefit
  • You can connect it to PC as well since the HDMI input enhances the product’s multi-functional aspect
  • Comfortable to wear and easy to use
  • HD screen displays high quality virtual reality environment
  • It is a light weight and sleek device

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • One of the biggest drawbacks of this VR headset is the absence of a Bluetooth wireless controller, which substantially affects gameplay experience
  • It sometimes get heated when used for longer duration

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Brief Summary:

Having a VR headset to use with your Xbox is a must to enhance gaming experience. One of the best choices that you have in Xbox one VR headset is the TiYiViRi VR Headset. It is perfect for Xbox users because one: it is inexpensive; two: it is compatible with a variety of gaming platforms not just Xbox; and three: you can download apps from Google Play and even third-party app stores. Moreover, it is a multi-functional VR headset that can be controlled with the turn of your head.

Part #7: Zoom In: PC VR Headset

There is a big difference between virtual reality experience from PC and mobile phone. Since mobile phones aren’t designed specifically to allow VR environment, therefore, the impact is notably underplayed.  But, with PC, sky is the limit literally as you can enjoy an amazingly realistic VR environment. VR headsets work best when used with PC or gaming consoles.

Top PC VR Headset Lists & Table:

Welcome to Tethered Environment

For PC gaming, if you want the best experience in VR then I suggest you go for the following options. In my list as you can see there are a wide range of PC VR headsets options, all of which have been tested for durability, user-friendliness and functionality.

In my opinion, tethered VR headsets like Oculus Rift, which happens to be my top pick in PC VR headset too, allow totally immersive virtual reality experience. If you ignore the chunky cable then these are pretty good options indeed. These headsets use dedicated display unlike the smartphones and come with built-in motion sensors with external camera tracker. All these features improve image fidelity and head tracking tremendously.

Oculus Rift + Touch Virtual Reality System

About This Oculus Rift VR Headset:

The Rift made by Oculus is responsible for transforming the way you experience gaming and video viewing. It was actually a crowdfunded project created after raising $2m on Kickstarter. This VR headset has a minimalist and modernist matte black exterior finish and an integrated 2K OLED display. The Rift comes with vast range of dedicated accessories while it is quite an affordable headset at under $350.

You will get an effective and realistic VR experience with Oculus Rift since it splits the display into two screens allowing 1080×1200 display for each eye. This means you get 2160×1200 pixels resolution. Use of PenTile technology by Samsung helps in producing a subpixels layer that creates sharper and crisper image.

The Rift comes with dedicated Oculus Touch Controllers that contain two face buttons, a touchpad, an analog stick and a trigger and grip button on each controller. But, the added plus is that it also supports Xbox One and other controllers after minor set-up tweaks. Official Oculus Sensor allows easy room-scale motion tracking via infrared and its detachable headphones offers excellent sound quality with noise isolation feature.

Pros: What We Liked

  • Oculus Rift is made from durable, high-quality materials
  • The Rift offers highly advanced motion controls
  • Accessories are readily available and very affordable as well unlike other mainstream VR headsets that have expensive accessories
  • Sound and image quality is top-notch
  • Very easy to use with the addition of dedicated controllers
  • Better perceived resolution compared to the VIVE

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • Its biggest drawback is that it doesn’t officially support SteamVR given than Steam is the leading PC game store and platform
  • Room scale size is a bit smaller than size supported by VIVE

Bottom Line:If you are looking to buy a cost-effective VR headset to use for PC gaming, then Oculus Rift is the best option available today. It is a great deal because you get it with two motion controllers and two sensors. However, it is not completely compatible with SteamVR so this is something that might affect its appeal especially for Steam users.

Brief Summary:

The impact of virtual reality on PC is a lot different from smartphones given that the latter aren’t designed to support VR technology. Conversely, PC gaming can become much more immersive and entertaining with the addition of reliable VR headset like Oculus Rift because it is designed to support VR. However, you might need to check out system requirements prior to purchasing PC VR headset.

Part #8: Zoom In: Steam VR Headset

Steam is the biggest gaming platform where you can perform a variety of interesting activities such as online streaming, downloading games and connecting to fellow gamers. If you want to enjoy virtual reality on Steam, then get a VR headset that is compatible with the platform. In this section, I will be informing you about the best VR headsets that are compatible with Steam.

Top Steam VR Headset Lists & Table:Say Yes to Steaming Hot VR

When you need to select a VR headset to use with Steam, you have got to be very vareful because not all available headsets support Steam. Don’t be fooled by big names since a majority of VR headsets offer restricted compatibility with Steam games.

In my opinion SteamVR, that is, HTC VIVE, is a complete virtual reality system that has been developed by Valve and HTC collectively. If you are into Steam gaming then this would be the best option for you. However, if you want to look for more options to choose from, check out the list below. It features all currently available VR headset models that are compatible with Steam.

HTC VIVE Virtual Reality System:Viva La Vive

About This HTC VIVE VR Headset:

Who would have thought that the company who specializes in manufacturing mobile phones would eventually give us the best VR headset? That’s right! HTC VIVE is an excellent VR system. It is also called SteamVR since it is developed exclusively to support Steam platform.

The VIVE has a matt black outer covering, which somewhat reminds me of the Rift. However, it has a very futuristic design and sturdy built than the Rift’s minimalist appearance. You cannot help but find similarities in the display of both SteamVR and the Rift too as these offer similar resolution and technology. Like the Rift, SteamVR or VIVE also offers two OLED displays with a resolution of 1080×1200 pixels for each eye. Also enabled is PenTitle technology that improves image fidelity greatly.

Motion detection is also way more precise in the VIVE. HTC has not included the conventional cylindrical sensors but embedded small and compact cubical structure as base station. It is flexible and more accurate too. The VR headset comes with a number of useful accessories, more than any other I have noted. You will get replacement parts, headstap with headphones, VIVE tracker and other functional accessories. At $400+ this deal is reasonably good since it fully support Steam games.

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Pros: What We Liked

  • Its biggest advantage is that it is functional with all SteamVR games but the added benefit is that you can play normal Steam games as well. All the Steam games get automatically adapted to VR through theatre mode in Steam.
  • You can also benefit from most of the Rift library with VIVE

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • The SteamVR controllers are a bit heavier than other VR headsets in the market, which isn’t a positive sign because it affects the user-friendliness of the device
  • It is probably the most costly VR headset till date. Its high price definitely limits its consumer-base

Bottom Line:Although high price and heavy controllers make SteamVR a little less desirable than other options such as the Rift but it is the only headset that offers extensive support for Steam games. The controllers also are unique in their own respect because these use an efficient trackpad instead of analog sticks. All in all, SteamVR or VIVE is your best bet if you want to benefit from Steam platform comprehensively..

Brief Summary

If you are interested in playing SteamVR games without any difficulty then it is a better idea to purchase VR headset that supports this platform. I have provided you a list of most feasible and reliable headsets that can make your experience in the virtual world truly rewarding. HTC VIVE is one of the bets Steam VR headsets that I managed to find so I would recommend it to Steam fans.

Part #8: Zoom In: Best Microsoft Mixed-Reality Headset

Microsoft is known for being the best in terms of innovation and creativity. After all, it is called the world’s leading software giant for some reason. The Microsoft Mixed Reality or Windows Mixed Reality is basically a mixed VR platform. It was introduced as part of the company’s latest and most prestigious OS, the Windows 10. Microsoft mixed reality platform offers compatible head-mounted displays that offers holographic, mixed reality experiences.

Top Microsoft Mixed-Reality Headset Lists & Table:Extending VR Compatibility

Windows Mixed Reality or WMR is a relatively new concept in the VR domain. The basic idea behind WMR is to ensure extensive compatibility of VR headsets and gaming/app choices across a broad range of platforms. WMR is integrated with SteamVR, which further expands the game and apps library.

Microsoft has introduced five different VR headsets under its WMR banner featuring models from Acer, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and HP. In this section I will be listing the top contenders in WMR headsets along with providing recommendations about the best in the lot. The purpose of this guide is to help you gain in-depth understanding of this emerging new VR platform.

 HP Mixed Reality Headset and Controller: Ubiquitously Yours

About This HP Mixed Reality VR Headset:

HP mixed reality headset has recently been unveiled along with the Windows 10 Creators Update. The main difference between the VR headsets like the Rift and Mixed Reality experience is that the former isn’t as ubiquitous as the latter. The sense of ubiquity that you get with mixed reality is its truly exceptional quality since it allows third-party vendors to sell device-compatible hardware.

HP mixed reality headset has 2.89” Dual LCD displays offering a cumulative 1440 x 1440 pixels per eye resolution. Using the HDMI 2.0 cable you can connect your PC to the headset. It offers a 90Hz refresh rate while the device has two Bluetooth-connected motion controllers and a 3.5mm headphone jack too.

Look wise the headset is pretty typical; it is sleek, matte black and doesn’t look any different from other VR headsets. But, HP mixed reality VR headset features an ergonomic design and offers amazing level of comfort to the user. The VR experience is intuitive but not as seamless as you may expect. The motion sensing tech is integrated into the headset and there aren’t any external sensors involved. At $215 this newbie on the block is worth your bucks.

Pros: What We Liked

  • The home interface of HP mixed reality VR headset is designed in a way that it gives the feel of being in a sci-fi environment
  • It is the most comfortable VR headset among all the other options in the market
  • Ergonomic design enhances usability of the product

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • While others are offering OLED display, HP mixed reality settles for LCD, which is off-putting to some extent
  • Limited content compatibility is an issue of concern with mixed reality headsets

Bottom Line:HP’s mixed reality headset is excellently serviceable VR facilitator device but what affects its consumer base is that the mixed reality platform itself offers limited options in compatible content. The VIVE and Rift offer better and extensive libraries so if you are willing to wait for a while then go for a mixed reality headset else choose Oculus or VIVE.

Brief Summary:

Microsoft’s mixed reality platform concept wise is quite appealing because it allows a vast range of vendors to engage into virtual reality. However, at the moment it is not as expanded and offers limited library content. Since only five models in mixed reality platform have been released as of now, so out of these I believe HP’s VR headset is excellent.

Part #9: Zoom In: Sony VR Headset

To survive in the fiercely competitive tech industry, every brand needs to innovate and move beyond its comfort zone. Same can be said for Sony. The company has created a lasting fan-base in the Television and Gaming Console industry but sensing the changing tech-world scenario it has ventured into the world of VR with PlayStation VR.

Top Sony VR Headset Lists & Table:Two Thumbs Up for SONY!

Sony’s name is associated with quality products. The company has now become involved in the virtual reality domain and its presence is being felt right from the get go. With an amazing VR headset like PlayStation VR in the offering, do we need to look further for compatible VR headsets?

Probably we can as there are hordes of new and attractive options currently available. Check out the list presented below to know the best Sony VR headset available in the market and take your pick. I have included all the necessary details about the headsets and also provided my recommended option, which happens to be PlayStation VR with Camera Bundle.

PlayStation VR Headset + Camera Bundle:Budget Bundle

About PlayStation VR Headset:

What.. again a PlayStation VR (PSVR) making to my list of best VR headsets 2018. Well, I know it is confusing but let me tell you that there are currently three versions of PSVR available one that comes solo, another one with Doom VFR bundle while this one I am talking about comes with a Sony Camera.

PSVR with Camera definitely delivers. Within $250, you can get an immersive VR experience on your PS4 or PS4 pro. The PS Camera is second-generation version featuring a cylindrical shape and hinge-stand, which makes it easy to align the camera with headset.

Using the headset is pretty easy just plug it into the console’s rear aux port and the device will start tracking your head movements with the blue LED lights. Isn’t it convenient? If you have the DualShock4 controllers, you are good to go.

This version of PSVR supports Sony’s move controllers too, which were launched for PS3 and now have made a comeback. At the back of the processing unit is located the micro-USB port and two HDMI output while all the required cables come with the box.

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Pros: What We Liked

  • Very budget-friendly headset as its price is lower than other high-end VR headsets like HTC VIVE
  • Compatibility with all versions of PS4 is definitely a good thing
  • Smoother visuals with 120Hz refresh rate
  • The true game changer is the introduction of Resident Evil 7 on PSVR

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • In terms of resolution, PSVR is a let down
  • It would have been better if the bundle had contained Move controllers too. If you don’t have them already then you will need to buy them again

Bottom Line:For PS4 owners, what else could be better than having a fully loaded VR headset that comes with an original Sony Camera and is compatible of all PS4 variants? PSVR is your go to VR headset if you want to enjoy your gaming experience on the best console in the market.

Brief Summary:

Sony has ventured into the VR industry with a bang. Its amazing range of PlayStation VR headsets is one to watch out for. Despite providing quality features and remarkable VR experience, what make Sony VR headsets stand out the most are their reasonable prices and exclusive bundle deals. The PSVR with Camera is surely a deal you shouldn’t miss out.

Part #10: Zoom In: Samsung VR Headset

Who doesn’t know about the calibre of Samsung in churning out one desirable gadget after another? It is the world’s leading Android smartphone manufacturing firm. It is the company behind the fiercely popular Galaxy S series, which is world’s most famous flagship phone series on Android. So I am not surprised that Samsung has been eyeing the virtual reality market and is now providing some of the market’s best VR headsets.

Top Samsung VR Headset Lists & Table::Virtually Korean

Samsung has remained the true torch bearer of innovation in the mobile phone manufacturing industry. I believe that once it gets settled in the VR sector, sky will be the limit for the Korean tech giant. Already it has been experimenting a lot and now releases a Mixed Reality VR headset too.

There an amazing and well-equipped range in Samsung VR headset available nowadays. Samsung VR headsets surpass their predecessor in terms of features and experience. In case you have a Samsung smartphone and you are looking for the best Samsung VR headset then you have come to the right place. I have created a wholesome list of most reliable Samsung VR headsets for you to choose from.

Samsung Hmd Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality Headset with 2 Wireless Controllers:An Ode to VR

About This Best VR Headset

Microsoft has so far released five mixed reality headsets from different brands and Samsung’s HMD Odyssey happen to be one of the five headsets. Samsung’s version is quite different from the other four because it comes with Microsoft motion controllers and is compatible with PCs running Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. It is a bit high on the price with $499 which makes it the most expensive of all mixed reality headsets. But still it is worth a mention because… it is made by Samsung folks.

Just like other mixed reality headsets, this one also tracks head and controller motion using the two cameras mounted at the front side. Simply plug in the USB and HDMI cables and open the Mixed Reality Portal available in the Creators Update. Its motion sensors are more flexible and responsive than those of the Rift and even the VIVE while no additional hardware setup is required.

Odyssey works well if the room is moderately lit. The controllers offer highly accurate response and satisfactorily reflect hand movements using tracking marks made by the LEDs.

Pros: What We Liked

  • Screen is amazing
  • Compatible with SteamVR
  • Among other mixed reality VR headsets HMD Odyssey has better controllers
  • Durable and sturdy design
  • From resolution to lenses, Samsung’s HMD Odyssey’s visual clarity is by far the best in the industry

Cons: What We Didn't Like

  • In comparison to the Rift and PSVR, which weigh 470 and 610gm respectively, this VR headset is heavier at 645gm
  • Controller movements stall when connected right behind the head
  • The design is pretty mediocre
  • Adjustable head ring isn’t very comfortable to wear
  • Controller design is quite complicated to understand
  • Lacks flip-up display

Bottom Line:HMD Odyssey mixed reality VR headset from Samsung has everything that you might look for in a mainstream, high-end VR headset. I believe that if we ignore the high price, it is even better than Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE. The screen is simply gorgeous and controls are pretty decent as well. However, Microsoft’s mixed reality platform is still a big gamble and we don’t know what future holds for this newbie.

Brief Summary:

Samsung has proven its credibility time and again and with HMD Odyssey it has again reinforced the fact that the company’s innovativeness is matchless. Among all the five mixed reality headsets, Samsung’s offers better controls, quality visuals and compatibility with Steam games and apps. However, it is indeed heavier than the Rift and VIVE and most expensive within the mixed reality headsets range. So decide wisely.

If I Were You, I will Choose Oculus Rift. Here Are 3 Reasons:

Say hello to the new gold standard in VR headsets industry, the mighty Oculus Rift. Why I like this VR headset so much is because:

  1. It is very inexpensive considering that it costs lesser than the HTC VIVE and offers hordes of exciting features to enhance your VR experience
  2. It is compatible with PC and has massive library of games and apps to offer
  3. You can set it up easily, and play comfortably due to its comfortable ergonomic design, light weight and surprisingly well-responsive controllers

Part#8 Guide & Tips Times: How to Choose A VR Headsets

It is time now for my favourite section, the tips and guidelines category. I feel really excited when I get to share my knowledge about the tech world gadgets with my readers. In this section I will inform you about the basic guidelines about selecting the perfect VR headset for personal use. It contains every major and minor aspect that you need to evaluate prior to making the decision.

Setup:

The first thing you should check out in a VR headset is the setup. Whether the device is compatible with PC or is console-powered, the space it required is an important point to note. Check if there are any additional accessories that need to be placed alongside the headset. For mobile VR headsets, you must check the time involved in software installation and if the phone securely fits into the enclosure.

Design and Comfort

What the use of buying a VR headset if it is loaded with cool features but is uncomfortable to wear. Always try the headset and keep wearing for at least 30 minutes. Ensure that there are embedded air vents that keep the inner environment cool and if it gets sweaty there should be a face guard intact to keep away the moisture. Also check the weight of the product and go for the lighter one. Don’t forget to check the adjustable head straps; these should be well-fitted and secure.

Interface:

Interface is a vital aspect to check while buying VR headset. It is what will eventually determine the quality of virtual experience. Usually, it is important to test interface for intuitiveness and responsiveness of the home page and other menus. You may also test other features such as gesture control and voice commands.

Controllers:

Ideally the controllers should be ergonomically designed so that you feel comfortable while using them. The same rule is applied on all controllers from the conventional gamepads to the Rift’s touch controls. Nobody would like hand cramps so go for ergonomic controls. Also, it is important to track responsiveness of controllers in fast-paced games.

Content:

What is hardware without software? Nothing else but a pricey paperweight ..no? in terms of VR headsets, it is the software library that makes the whole difference since you get to play a variety of games and benefit from vast reserves of apps. Do confirm that the headset is compatible with a good library that offers extensive collection of games, apps, movies and videos.

The Big Question: Mobile or Tethered?

Modern virtual reality headsets can be categorized as Mobile and Tethered. So which one is right for you? Read on to learn more about both categories.

Mobile VR Headsets:

These are basically shells containing lenses and a suction area to secure your smartphone. The screen is separated into two images by the lenses, which is how the images are transmitted to both the eyes and your ordinary mobile phones becomes a VR device. Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View are quite cost-effective options as these can be bought in under $100. There is no need to connect additional cords to the headset since all the processing is done on your smartphone, which is a wireless device.

But, you must remember that mobile phones aren’t designed for used as VR devices and hence, you should not expect amazing quality of VR experience. Mobile VR headsets cannot offers quality picture even if equipped with specialized lenses. These are also underpowered in comparison to console-based or PC-based VR headsets.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835-powered prototype headsets were quite impressive as these allowed you to walk around the virtual space without worrying about cords or installing sensors around the room. Google’s standalone Daydream headsets from Lenovo and HTC also rule out the use of phone and use the innovative built-in position tracking technology. So the future for mobile VR is definitely promising.

Tethered:

Some examples of tethered VR headsets include PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE. Basically, tethered headsets are to be connected to the computer or the console physically. The use of cords does affect the portability and usability aspect from consumers’ perspective but the good part is that you don’t need to strap the headset to your face directly. There is a dedicated display in the headset, an external camera tracker and built-in motion sensors that collectively offers quality image and head tracking.

But, tethered VR headsets can be quite expensive. The minimum cost of a tethered VR headset is nearly $400 and you must not forget that the PC also should be upgraded to match the compatibility requirements of VR headsets. In case of PS VR, you would need to buy PS4 in order to use it.

The Future of VR

At the moment, it is difficult to predict about the adoption and development of VR technology. It can go to any direction; such as, Google Cardboard was followed by Google Daydream and Samsung is continually experimenting with its VR headsets.  Samsung Gear VR is totally different from Odyssey. Then we have the mixed reality phenomenon that makes VR an open gateway for manufacturers.  Acer, HP, Lenovo and Dell, all the bigwigs are finally planning about dedicated VR headsets to complement their devices.

As of now, I cannot exactly state the future of devices like HTC VIVE and the Rift; whether these would become more advanced in the future or another technology would replace them it remains to be seen. A Finland based startup Varjo is developing a new VR headset that it claims would offer 70x better resolution than the VIVE. So all I can say is that, let’s wait and watch.

Ready for Our VR Headsets Recommendations?

Deciding about the best VR headset is certainly a difficult task. There are so many different options that you simply cannot resist to buy. But, when it comes to buying an expensive gadget like VR headsets, it is important to think things through properly before making an investment.

So, which one is right for you? Mobile or Tethered? Rift or VIVE?

Well, it all depends upon your priorities and the kind of system you want to use the VR headset with. Such as, if you have PS4, then you should go for the tethered system and PlayStation VR is your best bet. Similarly, if you are a Samsung mobile phone user, why not choose the Samsung Gear VR as it is the ultimate VR headset. If you are looking for cheaper options then you can think about getting a reasonably priced mobile VR headset as it will be easy to use with no involvement of wires and cost-effective as well.

Further Reading Time: Read Ultimate Guide

If you want to learn more about VR headsets and need to delve further in the world of virtual reality then you can check out the ultimate guide that I created about VR headsets. You will get a fair idea about the basic functionalities involved and the salient pros and cons of every category from mobile to tethered and mixed reality.

Conclusion:

VR headsets are the latest fad among gamers and movie buffs alike. The best VR headsets are the ones that fulfil all your requirements and do not cause heavy burden on your pocket. Always be wise while deciding about the device to buy. It is a better idea to check out the guide to the best VR headsets 2018 to make the right choice.

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